Shiatsu Massage – The Art of Acupressure

Shiatsu massages date back five thousand years to ancient Japan where this massage was the most common form of pain relief and relaxation. It was also how Japanese citizens opened up their “chi” or life energy and removed any blockages in it. Unlike a deep tissue massage which provides a little pain until the “pockets” of tension are removed, a shiatsu massage will never cause pain.Practically everyone knows about acupuncture where fine precision needles are used to provide relief. In a shiatsu massage, the fingers and palms of the therapist are used instead of fine needles.Before deciding to get a shiatsu massage, it is important to know a few facts before you delve into total bliss. Traditional oils that may be used in other forms of massages are not used in shiatsu massages. This removes any reactions that the recipient may have with the oil.However, not every shiatsu massage is the same and you should never get one done by an untrained and unskilled therapist. An untrained shiatsu therapist may leave certain areas feeling swollen, bruised and temporarily tender.

Before the massage, your shiatsu therapist will impart the information required to fully enjoy the massage. You will be asked about any conditions, injuries or problems that you may have or had. The shiatsu therapist will also ask you if there are any specific areas of the body that you want worked.

In addition, the therapist may also ask you about any tensions, stress and tightness that you may have in your muscle or skin. This will help the therapist to more effectively relieve you of your tensions and worries and make the massage more beneficial.

Unlike many other massages, you will not be naked. In a shiatsu massage, you will be given loose clothes to wear. Although there are some instances where the robe may be thin, it is generally thick enough to not allow anyone to see through it. You will be placed on a flat mattress placed on the floor. You will be initially asked to lie on your back. The therapist will start with your head and move down to your feet. The therapist will ask you to turn over and will work the bottom up.

The techniques applied use the thumb, fingers, palm and forearms to apply pressure to certain areas. Just like many other traditional massages, the massage is aimed at channeling you chi through certain energy channels known as meridians. The whole aim is to rebalance your energy flow which will benefit the rest of your body.